Rehabilitating Sexual Offenders: A Strength-Based Approach

Pages: 260
Item #: 4317257
ISBN: 978-1-4338-0942-2
List Price: $59.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $49.95
Copyright: 2011
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


While most sexual offender treatment programs take an aggressive, confrontational approach that targets the offenders' denial, research has shown that this common approach does not alter actual criminogenic factors related to reoffense rate. Furthermore, this approach can alienate and demoralize offenders, who often report "not getting anything out of it."

Over the past 40 years, William Marshall and colleagues have developed and refined a motivational, strength-based approach emphasizing warmth, empathy, and support for the offenders. Backed by research, this positive approach does not ignore criminogenic factors, but presents them to clients as targets for the development of strengths rather than as deficits to be overcome. The approach has paid off: such programs in both prison and community settings consistently achieve a broad range of treatment targets and reduce recidivism for both sexual and nonsexual crimes.

This book presents the evolution and distinctive features of Marshall's positive approach to treating sexual offenders.

The first five chapters review research and theory on sexual offender treatment, including assessment, procedural factors, personal and interpersonal factors (such as therapist features, therapeutic alliance, and group climate), problems with common cognitive-behavioral approaches, and evaluation of treatment programs.

The last three chapters describe three treatment programs developed by Marshall and colleagues for the Canadian prison system: the Preparatory Program, which engages sexual offenders in the process of change before the main treatment program begins; the Primary Program, which targets criminogenic factors that are known to predict reoffense (problems with attitudes and cognitions, self-regulation, relationships, and sexual issues); and the Deniers' Program, which also targets criminogenic factors but is tailored to the specific needs of those who deny committing a sexual offense.

This landmark volume will challenge how sexual offender treatment is typically conducted. It is essential reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, and parole and probation officers working with sexual offenders.

Table of Contents




I. Research and Theory on Sexual Offender Treatment

  1. Assessment
  2. Procedural Features of Treatment
  3. Personal and Interpersonal Factors
  4. Problems With Current Cognitive–Behavioral Approaches
  5. Evaluation of Sexual Offender Treatment Programs

II. The Rockwood Psychological Services Programs

  1. Rockwood Preparatory Program
  2. Rockwood Primary Program
  3. Rockwood Deniers' Program

Afterword: Summary and Implications for Future Treatment and Research

Appendix: Therapist Rating Scale-2



About the Authors

Author Bios

William L. Marshall, OC, FRSC, PhD, is the director of Rockwood Psychological Services, which provides assessment and treatment for sexual offenders in Canadian federal prisons and for juvenile offenders in the community. He is also director of groups and evaluations at a center for mentally disordered offenders. Dr. Marshall has over 370 publications, including 19 books, and he has been on (or still is on) the editorial boards of 16 journals. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2000 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Liam E. Marshall, PhD, has been conducting research on and treating sexual offenders for more than 14 years. He has delivered trainings for correctional services and those who work with sexual and violent offenders in 14 countries, and has designed anger management and domestic violence programs for mentally disordered offenders. Dr. Marshall has also contributed to the development of the preparatory, regular, maintenance, deniers, and low-functioning sexual offender treatment programs, and occasionally acts as a therapist for these programs. He has numerous publications, including a coedited, and two coauthored books, and is on the editorial board of the journals Sexual Aggression and Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. Currently, he is the research director for Rockwood Psychological Services, and evaluation chairman and codirector of treatment programs at a secure treatment unit for incarcerated mentally disordered offenders.

Geris A. Serran, PhD, graduated with a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa in 2003. A registered psychologist, Dr. Serran is currently employed at Rockwood Psychological Services as the clinical director of the sexual offender treatment programs at Bath Institution (a medium security federal penitentiary), and she also conducts assessments interventions with juvenile sexual offenders. Her research interests include therapeutic processes, coping strategies, maladaptive schemas, and treatment of sexual offenders. She has authored several book chapters and journal articles, coedited and coauthored books, and presented at international conferences. Dr. Serran is also on the Editorial Board for the journal Sexual Aggression.

Matt. D. O'Brien, MA, MSc, graduated with a master's degree in applied criminological psychology from the University of London in 1997. Mr. O'Brien worked in the delivery and design of offending behavior programs, primarily with sexual offenders, in Her Majesty's Prison Service for 10 years. He has authored a number of book chapters and journal articles, presented at international conferences, and trained and consulted with staff in a number of different jurisdictions. He is currently employed at Rockwood Psychological Services as a therapist for the preparatory, deniers' and maintenance programs for sexual offenders in Canadian federal correctional settings as well as with juvenile sexual offenders in community settings.

Reviews & Awards
  • Society for Sex Therapy and Research 2012 Health Professional Book Award

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